Shedding The False Burden of QA, Part One: Testers Always Have Enough Time

Good testing is hard.  It’s a deep intellectual endeavor that requires critical thinking, and among other things, time.  However, the good news for testers is, you always have enough time. Wait… does this sound contrary to reality? Where you think you found the issue, but there’s something deeper going on that you simply don’t have

The Binge-Purge Cycle of Frameworks

Abstract: Process frameworks are all the rage; some sold as magic pill, a silver-bullet to solve your organization’s problems toward achieving rapid delivery. They all have pros and cons, so I won’t spend time on belaboring what’s already widely discussed out there. Instead, I wanted to share my thoughts about the vicious cycle they can

Practical Approach to Delivery Enablement

Abstract: The job of the influencer or coach/mentor in a software team, regardless of title (Manager, Director, Agile Coach, Scrum Master, Tech Lead, etc) isn’t to evangelize best practices and beat people over the head with manifestos. Rather, the job of any professional in an Agile environment is delivery enablement, which I define as enhancing/optimizing

COVID19 Real Talk

Abstract: This post has nothing to do with testing, so that makes it a first on this blog, but it is time for some Covid19 real talk. However my brother, Dustin Roberts, medical doctor and former US Navy Lieutenant Commander, and I believe this is important information to share. Dustin has prepared an article with

Hiring Good Testers

Abstract: I frequently get asked how I interview testers, be it anyone from exploratory to automation and anywhere within that spectrum (i.e. including “Toolsmiths”, see Richard Bradshaw’s work here for context on that term). What the person is really asking me though is, “How do you know someone who interviews well will actually perform well once

Testing Terminology

Abstract:Another brief post, reacting to a culmination of bad posts I have seen lately in the testing community surrounding the testing terminology we use to define our craft. With language comes power, and this terminology tells others what we think about our craft. Much of what I have seen lately casts testing in a negative

What is Testing?

Abstract: A brief post, the tip of the iceberg on exploring the question ‘What is testing?’. If this intrigues you, then comment or contact me and let’s have a deeper discussion. Updated: April 19th, 2018 (added my mental model to give a visual/be more explicit about my more general statements) Many people confuse “checking” for

A Tester’s Guide To The Galaxy

Abstract: I’ve created a reference card pack that you can use to do better testing, by fostering a team-driven approach to collaborative holistic exposure of high-value product risks. Overview: There are three main ways that we learn: Ingestion (books, blogs, models), Collaboration (conferences, discussions, webinars, meet-ups) and Experimentation (exercises, modeling, day-to-day exploration, etc). Since I recognize there

Testing Manifesto

Abstract: The Testing Manifesto is an encapsulation of a what some of us, context-driven testers, believe the role of “Tester” to be. The skill-craft of testing can be too blurred in many environments, such that we thought this was necessary to put out there. While we’ve used this internally for a while now, we were prompted to share this after

My Testing Journey

Abstract: This is a personal experience story about where I started as a tester and how I have grown through my experiences and interaction with various mentors along the way. I’ve moved from a gatekeeper to an informer, mainly due to the influence of some smart minds along the way that took their time to

A Documentation Story

Abstract: This is a story about an experience that Brian Kurtz​ and I had in shifting test documentation strategies from and all-manual unintentional approach to the utilization of an exploratory logging tool. We also talk about our observations on how that worked overall to our advantage within our context, in recapturing both time and operational

A Personal Metric for Self-Improvement

Article revisions: Learning is continuous, thus my understanding of testing and related knowledge is continually augmented. Below is the revision history of this article, along with the latest version. December 31, 2015, Version 1.0: Initial release. March 31, 2016, Version 1.1: Most definitions reworded, multiple paragraph edits and additions, updated Excel sheet to calculate actual team average. July 28, 2016,

Career Paths For Testers

Abstract: At the company for which I work, testers have two main pathways they can pursue: non-technical and technical. The information presented in this post is written with our context in mind, but other organizations may also share this framework in structuring their testing community.  Overview The career path options available to testers, in every organization of

Don’t Lie On Your Resume, Ever.

Abstract: Don’t lie on your resume. Ever. If we don’t immediately shine light on damaging advice, then we secede our integrity to the misinformed. A question was asked recently in the “SOFTWARE-TESTING” Yahoo group from someone who was seeking advice on how to better construct their CV/resume. A lot of tips starting pouring in from the group, and

Episode VII: The Tester Awakens

Abstract: A brief blog post on being an intentionally awake tester. There’s a lot of misinformation out there, so be a critical thinker and avid learner to properly combat it. It doesn’t take much to live in the dark as a tester. In fact, you simply need to exist. Abide by the rules and listen to